'Army link to unsolved murders'

FORMER detective Lou Rowan says the unsolved murder of two women whose remains were found at Murphys Creek could have links to the Australian army.

The remains of trainee nurses Lorraine Wilson, 20, and Wendy Evans, 18, were discovered in a secluded clearing off Murphys Ck Rd almost two years after they went missing on October 6, 1974.

Forensic examination found they had been raped and tortured, the cord used to restrain them still attached to their bones, before being brutally bludgeoned to death.

Mr Rowan, 86, said he believed their deaths were linked to five other unsolved murders of women under the age of 21 in Queensland between 1972 and 1976.

All seven victims were picked up while hitchhiking in the Gold Coast-Brisbane area.

"It is because of the location of the murders and the fact they are near army establishments," Mr Rowan said.

The remains of four of the other women were found near Townsville, Loganholme (near Greenbank barracks), Ormeau and West Burleigh (near Canungra barracks).

The remains of another woman, Anita Cunningham, have not been found.

Mr Rowan, who worked as a detective in south-east Queensland between 1956 and 1980, said the military link for Ms Wilson and Ms Evans would be the Cabarlah barracks.

He said the murderers might have been dressed in military uniform, which would give the hitchhikers more reason to trust them.

"I think you will find in all cases their skulls were bashed in," he said.

"To me, it was a significant thing.

"They (detectives) would have to have a look to see if any of them (military personnel) were at the relevant places at the relevant time and see if there was any connection."

He said it would be worthwhile for detectives to investigate his theory. "They certainly should."

A police spokeswoman yesterday said there was no evidence to suggest the military had been involved in any of the murders or that they were linked.

Anyone with information which may assist investigations should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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